Ouma Katjie Booysen

Translation of Transcription of a recorded interview with Ouma Katjie Booysen, conducted by Martin Mössmer, with Oupa Niklaas (Poon) van Rooy
Location: Breipaal, Douglas, Northern Cape
Date: 14 September 2018

Underlining indicates emphasis

KB = Ouma Katjie Booysen
NvR = Oupa Niklaas (Poon) van Rooy
MM = Martin Mössmer

MM It is the…
KB But the Lord knows about the matter, it is our…
MM … fourteenth of September 2018, in Breipaal, Douglas, with Ouma Katjie Booysen. Um, do I have Ouma’s permission to make this recording?
KB Yes, my child, but what must I say, I understand, I know…
MM Ouma just has to, just has to say if Ouma agrees Ouma just has to say “yes”.
NvR Yes.
KB Oh.
MM And um, do I have Ouma’s permission to write down the recording and to use it…
KB Yes.
MM … for my research?
KB I know, I… yes.
MM Okay. Thank you, Ouma. Ouma can begin now. Where were you born and where did you grow up and so on?
KB I was born in Voëlfontein, [-30.942868988461967,24.850730895996097] Voëlfontein, is where I was born, my parents told me I was born there. And I grew up there, and from there we moved down to Fabers Put [-28.89945381262234,23.865894824266434] that’s where we actually stayed and I grew up, and where I became a young girl and from there we moved to Erwe [-29.073949896010028,23.745617866516113] and then I met someone, then we married, the man and I, a Booysen man, then we married…
MM Hmm
KB … I was twenty one when we married.
MM And what was Ouma’s maiden name?
KB Dryers.
MM Dryers.
KB Dryers, hmm.
MM Okay.
KB Maiden name, from my parents, my mother’s parents were Dryers, yes. We stayed on Fabers Put for a long time and from there we moved back to Middelputs [-28.88781904733211,23.81698608398437] Only farms, Middelputs. These are the only places where we lived when we were still married. And, then we moved again to where we are now in this location and my husband died here. He worked at the ‘hostel’, and he passed away there, and I was left with the children, left with my six children, but I worked for them then. I worked on the lorries, and eventually I could support them, until they were so old that they could leave, and I’m the only one who needs support now. But it’s difficult…
MM Hmm.
KB … to be without a husband…
NvR Hmm.
KB … your helper. But the Lord is good, he kept me safe through everything, and I am still here among my children.
MM Hmm.
KB Legs, feet, but I drag them along, by the grace of God, because the Lord is good isn’t he? He keeps me safe if I believe, but if I don’t believe… [shakes head]
NvR That’s true, that’s true.
KB … he won’t keep me safe [inaudible, NvR coughing] It isn’t nice to grow old alone in a house with children…
NvR Hmm.
KB … but if you have them, and know they are yours, God gave them to you, you have to raise them.
NvR That’s true, Ma.
KB You have to raise them and all they ask from you is to try, even if you can’t…
NvR Hmm, it’s true.
KB Because one always has to [looks upwards] ask up there, whatever you do, you cannot just carry on like someone who… is for this world.
NvR That’s true.
KB Hmm.
MM And what did your mother and father do? What kind of work did they do?
KB They also did farm work, my ma and pa, they did farm work. We went from one place to the next. Travelled.
MM Hmm. Did you have cattle, Ouma?
KB We had stock, cattle, everything. But we had to do away with everything, everything animals aren’t allowed here, here we could not even have a chicken coop…
NvR Hmm.
KB Everything had to be done away with here, in those years when I grew up. It wasn’t nice.
MM Were they taken away or…?
KB They took them, took everything. But I am still here today.
NvR Hmm.
KB I haven’t got one elderly person [contemporary] here with me, not one, all [indistinct] passed away. I am the only one who is still around with the naughty children, because the children cause problems and the older people have to intervene…
NvR It’s true.
KB … to fix that matter, yes. It’s not nice, my children, not nice, truly.
NvR It’s true, Ma.
KB And since about last week I’ve been, been so ill again…
NvR Hmm.
KB But look at my head, upright… [nothing wrong with my head]
NvR That’s right.
KB … it’s upright [my head is clear] I don’t want to be [on my own] there in that room…
NvR It is so.
KB … I tell the children, ‟I want to sit here, I want to see what is coming or what is passing by, I want to see as well.”
MM Hmm.
NvR See.
KB Yes. But I am thankful to the Lord for sparing me…
NvR It’s true.
KB … that little child cares for me, at the police station they know she cares for me, at the doctors; she is the only one who… takes me round, everywhere. If I have to go to the doctor, if I have to go to the clinic, she is the only one…
NvR Hmm.
KB But I am glad because she looks after me really well.
NvR That is so, is so
KB She’s still very young…
NvR Hmm.
KB … but she takes care of me very well, cares very well, truly, I have no complaints. If I don’t feel well, she runs around, gets a car…
NvR That’s so.
KB Then she takes me to the doctor and she brings me back.
NvR It’s true.
KB True too. Among a hundred children you won’t [easily] find one who cares for you.
MM Hmm.
NvR They don’t care, it’s true, yes.
KB They have no interest, are more interested in drinking.
NvR Hmm.
KB I am thankful she doesn’t drink, neither do I.
NvR Hmm.
KB We take no notice of things like that.
MM Hmm.
KB Do you see the children outside? Huh? Yes them. They stand around for worldly things.
NvR Hmm.
KB I don’t stand around for worldly things, I am ill, if I go outside now they will help me so I can also stand at the gate…
NvR Stand at the gate.
KB … I stand there at the gate and look at the world, then I come back again and lie down. It isn’t nice being old. You are still young, oh, you can still jump, I can’t even jump anymore, my child.
I cannot even jump anymore, but I keep moving because what else can I do? I am a mother in the house.
NvR It is so, yes.
KB I am a mother, every complaint that comes, comes to me of course…
NvR Hmm.
KB … and I have to deal with this complaint, if I cannot deal with it I have to leave it.
NvR That is so, is so.
KB Yes, my children.
MM Can Ouma tell us about the time when Ouma was put in the hok? [kept in seclusion]
KB Ooh…
Ooh. It isn’t pleasant to sit there, my children, it’s not pleasant, man. Uh. You have to do it, the law says you have to do what the old people tell you.
NvR Uh.
KB Sit in that corner, and I sat and sat in that corner, and about the third or fourth week I was taken out and covered, and they took me down to the river. I looked at that big river, and I had to sit in a place where the water could flow over me.
[claps hands] So I sit there but I am in such fear, and I say, ‟What happens if I become dizzy and I fall in here, what will you do then?”
NvR Then.
KB The ouma speaks and the man who took me down to the river puts me on the riverbank and my feet have to be halfway in the water, and that is how I sit. I say he hits the water [claps hands] and they speak their language, I don’t understand their language…
NvR Uh-huh
KB … but those are languages, boy! And when it was finished they took me back to the, to the riverbank. I said, ‟When are we going home?” ‟We are going home, but you have to stand here a while.” It was wonderful, I say, you actually see the fish come…
NvR Uh
KB … near to the riverbank where I was.
NvR Was.
KB The fish came, the barbel… I said, ‟Take me away, take me away because just look at the ugly things coming out of the water!”
No, you have to sit, turn around, he then linked arms with me, and we danced. I say, dust was kicked up as the people danced!
NvR Danced.
KB Hmm. How they leapt. I watched the people, I had to look uh in front of me, but I watched the people, I had to look to the front but I looked at the people who were leaping about.
Ooh, it was lovely. Back at the house, there was hearty eating, and I had to get dressed, oh, then I saw the sun…
NvR Sun.
KB … then I saw the sun which lights the world outside, because you are not allowed to come out [when you are in the hok]
NvR Come out.
KB But if my mother perhaps went to fetch water, I say I rushed out…
NvR Out.
KB [whispering] … I peeped out a little, uh… If I noticed someone [claps] then I quickly moved inside…
… inside behind the curtain.
But truly those were pleasant days
NvR It was pleasant, Ma.
KB Pleasant, it was pleasant, my children, truly, pleasant to be so quiet, and to be alone there. Ooh, when they daubed me with the red stone and I am blood-red, ooh-hoo! I say, ‟Now when are you going to wash the stuff off me? I don’t want this stuff on me.” He says, ‟No, you have to stay like this, until this afternoon, then you can bath, then you can bath and you can get dressed and then you may walk around.” “Oh, hey!” that afternoon, I did not even wait for the afternoon, and I said, “I want to wash, hmm, bring me water too.” And then I washed myself, when I was washed I dressed myself! Ay! A pretty print dress, I say, which looks like this. [waves hands]
After that I am out, I am outside, I am free, they say. ‟Now you are free, now you are a grownup.” [an adult]
NvR You are a grownup.
KB ‟You must now know you are grownup…”
NvR Yes.
KB ‟… and you have to look after yourself…”
NvR After.
KB ‟… if you don’t look after yourself…”
NvR Look after.
KB ‟… it is your own concern.”
NvR Own concern.
KB Oh, it was enjoyable, really.
NvR It was really enjoyable.
KB Hmm, it was nice, my children, really. Really. To be young and to look after yourself is good.
NvR It’s good, my ma, it’s really true.
KB Yes, yes my child, truly…
NvR It’s nice.
KB … it was very nice.
NvR And what she was, she was beautiful, my uh…
KB Ooh… heavens…
NvR … meester, she was very beautiful.
KB Hmm.
NvR And she and Ouma Toet, they still like to wear their beads.
KB Hmm, yes.
NvR Yes, you will immediately see it when you come in, you will see her, no man, this woman is an independent woman, unlike the others.
KB Hmm, yes. No my b-, my beads are inside here…
NvR And her mother, also kept them like that.
KB … they are in a plastic bag, I put them away, my beads are kai [‘pretty’, ‘beautiful’] for kaings that I wear [them].
MM Are they the same beads from that time?
KB Uh-huh.
MM Oh.
KB Uh-uh. No, I gave them to that ouma…
MM Okay.
KB … I don’t want them, don’t want all that stuff on me
MM What kind of beads were they?
KB They are, what does one call them? Do you know what they call those… those cork-like things…
NvR Those that look like a cork, yes…
KB Yes.
NvR …those are the tand-, tandkrale… [tandekrale, jobskrale: false fruit of Coix lacryma-jobi]
KB Yes.
NvR …and then there’s the kriektand, they are mixed, they mix them like that. [possibly kriedoring Lycium spp; krintang krinting Rhus spp. wild currant]
KB Yes.
NvR Hmm.
KB Yes. And then you have to wear this lot around your neck.
You have to wear long earrings… Ooh, I told them I am finished now. Now I tell my children…
NvR Uh.
KB …the oldest girl is Saka, she’s passed on too.
NvR Passed on.
KB Hmm. I say to her, ‟Saka, you have now become a big girl, you have to go in, I have to put you there in the corner [in seclusion] so that you can let the people know where you come from.
NvR You.
KB Hmm. She says, ‟Mama, I am not a chicken, it’s a chicken who sits in there.”
And this all of them [claps] told me [claps], we couldn’t put one [claps] couldn’t put one in there.
NvR Hmm, couldn’t put one in.
KB Not one!
NvR That is so.
KB Truly.
NvR That’s it, my ma
KB Yes. And so they grew up until they were adults.
NvR Oh dear.
KB Hmm, really.
NvR The first one was a ‘sorry’ business, but then it couldn’t happen anymore because it became a secret thing.
KB Uh.
NvR You must actually, actually be cautious.
MM Hmm.
KB Hmm.
NvR Yes, because the, the, the…
KB Yes.
NvR … the white people don’t want to have that stuff done at the rivers….
KB Yes.
NvR … and the others…
MM Is that so?
NvR Yes.
KB Yes.
NvR They don’t want it, it is always them that actually head us off…
MM How?
NvR … that is why we cannot get into the language.
KB Yes. Truly.
NvR We couldn’t get into that language.
KB Hmm. No.
MM So did they when…
NvR Yes.
MM … when people wanted to do that?
NvR Yes, yes, there was… a riot, if chief can imagine it. Because as I said the other day, last year we went to Kimberley. There is a lo-o-ong building, it’s like this, then it comes, then it comes, that is the way they headed us off, at nine o’clock the world had to be silent and out of the way. They showed us that history, all those things. The, the, our elderly people, who knew about these things have all passed away…
KB Yes.
NvR … they are dead, and we cannot take over because there is nothing left now.
KB Hmm.
MM Hmm.
KB It’s really true.
NvR We haven’t got anything now.
KB Nothing nothing nothing.
NvR And look at how the people live today, that person who went into the hok, who we kept in there, she had to eat.
KB Yes.
NvR She had to eat, she had to enjoy her food.
KB No, you had to have good food, because when you came out you had to be plump…
NvR That’s it, yes.
KB … I was actually pink, pink.
NvR Pink.
KB I actually didn’t have my skin anymore, I was pink!
NvR Pink.
KB Pure white! When we can truly say, ‟I am a grownup now,” I told my mother, I said: “I am grownup now! You are not putting me in such a place again.”
My mother said, “We have to follow the law because your grandmother said we had to do it to you.”
NvR Do it.
KB Hmm. And so they really did this to me, truly made me pretty, I came out pretty and that is why I am an adult today and know about everything and I know where I came from.
NvR Oh my.
KB But… Oh, with the people around, to raise children on your own…
NvR Isn’t easy, no, it isn’t easy.
KB It isn’t, it isn’t, it isn’t nice.
NvR Isn’t easy.
KB Isn’t nice.
MM And did Ouma learn the language when Ouma was little?
KB No, I didn’t learn a language
NvR Hmm
KB I didn’t worry about language.
NvR Hmm.
KB Those old Gruku-languages they speak, I, I didn’t ever [claps] learn it, my child. I never learnt things like that…
MM And Ouma’s…
KB … I pretend I’m trying, but I don’t succeed.
NvR Hmm
KB I speak, and then they say it’s wrong, if I speak like that they say no, it’s wrong.
MM And, and Ouma’s mother and father, did they speak [the language]?
KB Yes, yes, yes they spoke languages, they had languages among themselves…
NvR Themselves.
MM Hmm.
KB … when they got together, the grownups. And I found it so funny, I sat and watched them like this…
… because the way they speak is so funny.
Yes, my children. That’s a fact.
NvR Oh my.
KB The children of today, I call them electrician children, I say, ‟We are tallow-lamp children, we don’t know… all the different things you know, we don’t know them.”
NvR Don’t know, yes
KB ‟You are electrician as soon as you fall on the skin [hide] and are born, you already know everything.
NvR Everything.
Because, uh one white man told me this, ‘chief’…
KB Hmm
NvR … do you know, he said to me, ‟Today’s day is different from those long-ago years…”
KB That’s true.
NvR ‟… because that child when it is born he knows, he already knows what is going on.”
KB Yes.
NvR ‟Because, the other day I see a little one, he points at his mother, his mother is pregnant…”
KB Uh.
NvR … he [inaudible] says, ‘do you know what my ma is carrying?’”
KB Yes
NvR And I hesitate a little, I ask, ‟Hey, but what is the child saying now?”
KB Yes… no the child, the child isn’t speaking.
NvR The child was taught, the mother told him, ‟It is a child I am carrying.”
KB Yes.
NvR [Those days] are gone.
KB Yes.
NvR He knows it is a child.
MM Hmm.
KB Yes. They say, today’s grownups tell the child, the children…
… what they are carrying.
NvR Yes.
KB If the child says, ‟Now why are you so fat, my ma?” Then she tells him what she is carrying.
NvR Yes.
KB And we don’t have those things.
NvR We don’t know those things
KB We don’t know those things.
NvR We know about the aeroplane…
KB Hmm, yes.
NvR And about a baboon whose tail was chopped off…
KB Yes.
NvR … that’s what we know. I didn’t understand why my ouma was speaking like that…
KB Yes.
NvR … I was a baboon, then I felt here and said, ‟No, Ma, Ouma, but my… my tail is still intact.”
KB Yes.
NvR She said, ‟It’s okay…”
KB Yes.
NvR ‟… that tail was long, so I chopped it off.”
KB Yes, it’s true. We really didn’t know anything.
NvR But today the children scare me, really, it’s true.
KB No, ooh…
NvR I, I…
KB The smallest child tells you all kinds of things, just like that…
NvR Jo, jo. [shocked]
KB …you get a fright, oh well. We didn’t know things like that.
NvR Things like that.
KB We didn’t know things like that.
MM Does Ouma have any stories to tell? Of Ouma’s youth?
KB Goodness, I haven’t got any stories now, I am tired of talking.
Yes, my children, oh dear.
NvR No, those times were really good times.
KB Truly, they were. Those years were really pleasant, were truly enjoyable, I mean while I was growing up, but now? The world isn’t pleasant now.
NvR Oh my, it is quite dangerous.
KB It’s dangerous, it’s killing, it’s…
NvR All the things.
KB … rape, all the ugly things now.
NvR Oh, the…Ooh…
KB We don’t know this, we don’t know such things, truly. We actually look as if we were raised on a cattle post, because we don’t know anything.
NvR We slept outside, meester.
KB Yes.
NvR Outside.
KB Yes.
NvR On the flats.
KB Hmm.
NvR You see a few lying here, and two over there, and one over there, and over there… that’s how we slept.
KB Yes.
NvR But today we cannot.
KB Hmm-mm, we cannot.
NvR Here in the house is…
KB Even if you had a house, you lay outside.
NvR Yes.
KB But today you cannot, you cannot lie outside. You lie like this, then when something gives… gives you a fright, you look and see someone is standing above you.
NvR Above you.
KB You don’t know what he is looking for, but he’s here!
NvR He’s here.
KB Yes. And if he’s looking for that thing from you, he wants it!
NvR Hey.
KB Or he kills you. I told the children last night, uh, because when she [daughter] tjaile [‘leaves work’], it is already quite late, we lie down but keep the light burning so that she can come in…
NvR Come in.
KB …then we leave the door open and then I say, I cannot fall asleep…
NvR Asleep.
KB … because I lie with an open door…
NvR … and the devil is so busy…
NvR Yes.
KB … that he will send someone to, only the three of us inside…
NvR Inside.
KB … what can we do, your sister is walking outside, and when she gets here we have all been killed.
NvR Killed.
KB Yes.
NvR It’s true.
KB I say, if she’s out or comes in and she says evening, and goes out, bolt the door…
NvR It is true.
KB …because I cannot sleep.
NvR True.
KB Because I fling the blanket back like this, I am watch-, watchful…
KB … if something just creaks I wake up.
NvR Wake up.
KB Now I cannot rest properly.
NvR Rest.
KB When I get up in the morning my body is aching…
NvR Aching.
KB … and I cannot move, because I do not sleep.
NvR That’s true.
KB I watch the door…
NvR That’s right.
KB … to see who is coming in.
NvR Coming in.
KB And, and last night the other little one, goes and looks, the sickly one who gets all those fits [seizures]…
NvR That’s so.
KB … she shuts the door. I get up in the morning, I come out, I go to the door, I open the door and peer out like this, shut the door. Then she comes in and I say, ‟I’ve been sitting here for such a long time, are you not interested in bringing me something to drink? When do you suppose I should have something to drink?”
NvR Drink.
KB Hmm. ‟No, Mama dear, I was outside, I did what and what…” I say, ‟That ‘what and what’, you have to look and see if I am inside first…”
NvR That’s right.
KB ‟Or whether my neuskoker [nostril] is already dry… [Or whether I have already passed on…]”
NvR Dry.
KB ‟… there inside the room. You, you don’t even come to see if my neuskoker is dry.”[ if I am still alive]”
NVR Dry.
KB ‟You only stay with your flowers.”
NvR Yes.
KB ‟Will those flowers be able to speak to you?”
NvR Speak.
KB ‟I speak, but those flowers cannot speak.”
Oh, what’s more, when they say I speak too much, I say, ‟I don’t speak much, just take an interest in me.”
NvR That’s correct.
KB Yes. “Just take an interest then I won’t talk so much.”
NvR Talk so much. Oh goodness.
KB Oh. My children, it’s not nice at all to become old. Oh heavens, it is only by the grace of God.
NvR It’s really only grace, Ouma.
KB Only grace, my children. Dear me.
NvR Dearie me.
KB Oh dear. You come from town or where do you come from?
NvR Yes, Ouma.
MM I come from the University of Cape Town.
NvR From Cape Town.
KB Oh, you come from the Cape.
NvR Hmm.
KB Oh. I was there when I was very young.
NvR I have just been telling the… telling meneer, my old body is also not saying yes any more, Ouma.
KB Mmm?
NvR It’s push and shove, it’s fighting, it’s eh eh eh… it’s running, it’s playing ball, it’s head and it’s eh eh eh…
KB Eh eh eh.
NvR And then, we had to carry heavy burdens on our heads carry them from the river far away.
KB Ooh.
NvR Ooh, goodness. Just be able to eat.
KB Yes, only to be able to eat. Do you know, the wind once pushed me, with the tin can of water on my head, until I stood in the river up to here [hands on waist], but I kept the tin can steady…
NvR Tin can.
KB … and when I saw the water was calm, I moved out with the tin can on my head, and I walked up the hill right to the top and then I removed the can and I looked at the river and said, ‟Did I really come out of this water that is so busy, the water is busy [turbulent; in flood], it is awful…”
NvR Awful.
KB … uh, I removed the, the tin can and then stood, stood and looked at the river, and another woman said, ‟Why are you looking at the water? Put the tin on your head and go home!”
NvR Uh.
KB ‟Or you might be totally gone in a flash!”
KB I said, ‟To what place?” She said, ‟Do exactly what I tell you. Go!”
NvR Go.
KB So I took the tin can, put it on my head and I went home. When I got to the house I told my grandmother, I said, ‟Look! I was in the river up to here because the wind took me…”
NvR Took me.
KB ‟… but, when I felt I was free, I simply walked out!”
NvR Out.
KB Up the hill. And now I am staying here. I’m not going to the river again.
NvR To the river.
KB “I am not going to fetch water again, never again. I’m never going to fetch water again. Yes. [Even] if you can’t, uh, rent a donkey cart and pay the two Rand for water, I’m not going to the water again.”
NvR To the water.
KB And so I really never [claps] went to the river [claps] again. [claps]
NvR Went.
KB Then they said, ‟No, then we have to keep you away from the river, because there might be something that wants…”
NvR Wants.
KB ‟… wants you.”
NvR Yes, yes.
KB Then I asked, ‟What kind of thing is that.” She said, ‟Listen to what I tell you.”
NvR Tell you.
KB ‟He’s… that someone is demanding, he needs you there with him.”
NvR There with him.
KB And so I never again, never, never, never went to the river again.
NvR So you see, Ma.
KB Yes. Ooh, my goodness.
NvR No, nowadays they pretend, they are now pretending that a thing like the water snake doesn’t exist.
KB Yes.
NvR They, they, they are still claiming it.
KB Yes, still today.
NvR Still today.
KB Yes, they say there isn’t something like that.
NvR But if he [referring to the water snake] loves you, meneer, he’ll do anything.
KB Hmm, ooh…
NvR Then you will suddenly see something shiny…
KB Uh.
NvR … a mirror is lying there and only you can see it…
KB He makes watches…
NvR Yes.
KB … wrist watches, and yes, of course you would like to have it…
NvR Eh.
KB … you want it, you are there and you want it.
NvR Yes.
KB No-o. Not at all. As soon as you touch that thing you’re gone, you’re with him in his place.
Oh, my goodness, yes. This is what my parents told me, they said, ‟No if he wants you…”
NvR If he wants you.
KB ‟… he makes all kinds of plans to get you, to get you, lots of plans.”
MM Has Ouma seen him?
KB I never saw him, my child, I only saw the pretty things that floated on the water, watches, beads…
NvR He makes all those strange things.
KB … beads, he makes everything that is pretty. And well, what are you? You want to go and look at that thing.
NvR You want to look at it, yes, that’s actually what happened there.
KB Yes, yes, in that way he gets hold of you, he gets hold of you.
NvR He appears as all kinds of things.
KB Yes, all kinds.
NvR He appears as a horse, and later he is… if you see him come out, sometimes, next to the river he looks like [a swarm of] flies…
KB Uh.
NvR … then he looks like a, looks like this and while you look at him you see a very pretty girl.
KB Uh.
NvR And then he even turns into a donkey.
KB Hmm.
NvR Then he turns into an ox, and then look, look he changes to…
KB Yes.
NvR … to lure you.
KB To lure you.
NvR That’s what he is really doing.
KB Yes.
NvR But he exists and every year he, meester, next to the, next to the two rivers…
KB Yes.
NvR … when the rains come down, he makes dust and he makes rain, then he climbs up, you actually see that, when you look you see it is a wolf [hyena] climbing up…
KB Uh… Yes.
NvR … but you don’t know when he’ll be back.
KB Yes.
NvR That is why I understand what I am telling you today, my parents showed me, if it is that day, the day he climbs, they showed us, do you see? There he goes…
KB Hmm.
NvR … there he climbs.
MM Hmm.
NvR And he only climbs at the neus [headland, point] where the rivers meet.
KB Hmm.
NvR That’s why the water flows like that…
KB Yes.
NvR … the Vaal River is on this side, and the Swart River [the Orange River] is over there, they don’t mix, and when it is in flood, meneer, when that, that Swart River is in flood and this one is in flood as well, it pushes back. No, it pushes back.
KB Truly.
NvR This is why we are here today, and these l’habasas and those kind of things, are the reason I know this thing exists.
KB He exists.
NvR You have to cleanse yourself
KB But, but people [claps] don’t want to do it [claps] not today [claps repeatedly]
NvR They cannot. My mother did, and my grandmother sat [in that hok] for three weeks…
KB Hmm.
NvR … up to four weeks, a month…
KB Yes.
NvR … they sat.
KB Because if you are skinny…
NvR Yes, yes.
KB … you have to sit for a month, a month to become fat, when you come out of there you have to look like this [claps]
NvR My daughter, I would like to show meneer what that one daughter of mine looked like when I put her in for three weeks, afterwards my child was beautiful.
KB Oh my.
NvR Then she was beautiful.
KB Yes. Ooh my, pretty.
NvR And she got the man she has now because she looked like that.
KB Oh dear me.
NvR That thing exists, meneer.
KB Yes, he exists.
NvR The water snake exists.
KB He exists.
MM Hmm.
KB He truly exists.
NvR Everyone can’t go to the river. No, no, everyone can’t go to the river, it isn’t each and everyone who can simply go to the river, Ma [KB] can go to the river, which she will do, which she will, she learnt to fling stones over her shoulders…
KB Hmm, hmm.
NvR … right into the water. No! Now that man [the water snake] is conscious of her…
KB Yes.
NvR … but, if a girl goes down there, just like that, no Ma no. That river now is [inaudible].
KB If your child reaches puberty, she reaches puberty here in the house and the river is far away, just go to the tap and do the ritual there…
NvR Hmm.
KB … daub her… her feet, daub her forehead, smear between her shoulder blades… Then she can come in. Yes, it has to be done, it’s a must, you have to…
NvR The law.
KB …[use] water, and if she goes to town, she has to take stones here at the house, and she she…
NvR That’s also true.
KB … has to carry one under each arm and she has to fling a stone over her shoulder this side [left], and over her shoulder that side [right], then she can go to town. But if she doesn’t do it [claps], those wind eddies [whirlwinds]…

…wait on that bridge, when she walks there, that whirlwind…

… stays with her until she is in town and comes back. That whirlwind stays with her all the way. When she is here, she says, ‟Ma, there is a wind that walks with me,” then you have to get up and take off your petticoat and put it on inside out, then you take this child to the tap, because you cannot go to the river, then you have to do the ritual at that tap, drench her to the skin and smear, when you have finished daubing her she can come into the house again.
NvR Come.
KB If you don’t do that, he [ the water snake] comes and takes the girl…
NvR He comes and takes her.
KB … no, he comes and takes her. He calls her, just, like someone calls someone else, my mother said, ‟He calls you.”
NvR And we have buried someone like that.
KB Ai.
NvR We have really buried someone like that. Where did that girl live…
KB Hmm.
NvR … uh, that Pieterse girl…
KB Hm-mm-mmm
NvR … he took her from there right into my house…
KB Hmm.
NvR … when they took my daughter he felt, and then he said, ‟No, all right, you don’t want to come with me,” so he [the water snake] left.
KB Hmm.
NvR No! Meneer… hey… He went down, then he… and that child lay there, her back was broken. She was buried, that child was buried.
KB Hmm.
NvR That’s why you have to do it right, the bones, the sheep you slaughter, isn’t slaughtered like other sheep.
KB Hmm.
NvR No, there is a part…
KB Yes.
NvR … he says his is intact here…
KB Like this.
NvR … forequarters, these are intact.
KB Hmm.
NvR And, his aitchbone…
KB Hmm.
NvR …is not cut, you take only the leg… the leg of mutton…
KB Yes.
NvR … you take it from the rump…
KB Yes.
NvR … and you cook it like that.
KB Yes, that is how you cut it.
NvR Yes, that’s what you do.
KB Hmm, yes. And then on that morning you must take that thing…
NvR Yes.
KB … down to the river, then you have to throw it in, so it sinks, it is the payment…
NvR Hmm.
KB … which you give to him. That morning I saw fish, barbel with heads like this…
… I said, ‟Take me away! Look at those ugly things,” and they said, ‟No, sit, sit, you will see they will soon come close to you and then they will swim past you.”
NvR Past.
KB I then sat there, and they really came and passed by me, passed by me, and they were gone…
NvR Hm!
KB … then I was taken out of the water, and I went home, and I am still here today. My children, oooh! They say they aren’t chickens.
NvR No chickens, that’s what they say.
KB [claps] They aren’t chickens. Yes…
MM We’re done, Ouma.
KB Thank you. Yes, my children.
NvR [inaudible]
KB It’s nice to be young, but you must always follow the law.
NvR Yes.
KB But our children don’t do such things.
NvR Yes, no such things
KB Hmm-mmm
NvR She sees the hok [inaudible].
KB She’s not a chicken.
Hmm, she’s not a chicken.
NvR Hmm, heavens.
KB Yes.
MM Ouma, thank you very much for the conversation.
KB Thank you, meneer.
MM I’m very grateful.
KB Thank you.


Transcription of a recorded interview with Ouma Katjie Booysen, conducted by Martin Mössmer, with Oupa Niklaas (Poon) van Rooy
Location: Breipaal, Douglas, Northern Cape
Date: 14 September 2018

Underlining indicates emphasis

KB = Ouma Katjie Booysen
NvR = Oupa Niklaas (Poon) van Rooy
MM = Martin Mössmer

MM Dit is die…
KB Maar die Here ken die saak, dis mos nou o’s
MM …veertiende September 2018, dis op Breipaal, Douglas, met Ouma Katjie Booysen. Um, het ek ouma se toestemming om hierdie opname te maak
KB Ja, my kind, maar hoe moet ek sê, ek ken, ek weet…
MM Ouma hoef net, moe’ net sê, as Ouma instem sê ouma net “ja”
NvR Ja
MM En um, het dan ouma se toestemming om dan die opname af te skryf en te gebruik…
MM …vir my navorsing?
KB Ek weet, ek, ja
MM Oukei. Dankie, ouma. Ouma kan maar begin, waar was ouma gebore, en grootgeword en so…
KB Ek is in Voëlfontein [-30.942868988461967,24.850730895996097] gebore, Voëlfontein, daar’s ek gebore, het my ouers my gesê daar’s ek gebore. En daar’t ek groot gewor’e, en daarvandaan trek o’s weer af, Fabers Put [-28.89945381262234,23.865894824266434], daar’t o’s nou innelik [d.w.s. eintlik] gebly, en daar’t ek grootgeword, en daar’t ek meisie geword, en daarvandaan het o’s weer Erwe [-29.073949896010028,23.745617866516113] toe getrek, toe ontmoet ek iemand, toe trou o’s, ek en die man, ‘n Booysen man, toe trou o’s…
MM Mmm
KB …was ek een-en-twintig jaar toe o’s trou
MM En wat was ouma se nooiensvan?
KB Dryers
MM Dryers
KB Dryers, mmm
MM Oukei
KB Nooiensvan, van my ouers, my ma se ouers was Dryers, ja. O’s het lank gebly op Fabers Put, en daarvandaan toe trek o’s weer terug na Middelputs [-28.88781904733211,23.81698608398437], net plase, Middelputs. Dis al plekke waar o’s by gebly het waar o’s nog getroud gewees het. En, trek o’s nou weer laat o’s nou diè lokasie is, en my man is hier dood. Hy’t by die hostel gewerk, en daar’s hy toe oorlede, sit ek nou maar met die kin’ers, my met ses kin’ers gelos, ek het maar vir hulle gewerk. Loriese ry, werk vir hulle, naderhand toe kry da’m sorg vir hulle, toe’t laat hulle nou so groot is laat hulle nou so uit is, laat dit nou net ek is wat sorg kry. Maar dis hard…
MM Mmm
KB …om son’er ‘n man te wees
NvR Mmm
KB Jou hulper. Maar die Here is goed, hy bewaar my nog deur alles, sit ek nog hier tussen die kin’ers
MM Mmm
KB Bene, voete, maar ek sleep hulle maar aan, deur die genade, want die Here is mos goed, hy bewaar vir my as ek glo, maar as ek nie glo nie [shakes head] …
NvR Is so, is so
KB … sal hy my nie bewaar. [inaudible, NvR coughing] ‘is’ie lekker om aleen in ‘n huis groot te word met kin’ers nie…
NvR Mmm
KB …maar as jy vir’lle had, en weet, dit is joune, God het hulle vir jou gegee, jy moet hulle grootmaak
NvR Is so, ma
KB Jy moet hulle grootmaak en al wat hulle aan jou vra, jy moet maar perbeer, al kan jy nie…
NvR Mmm, is so
KB Want alles moet mos net [looks upwards] hier vra, wa’ jy doen, jy kannie net aangaan soos mens wat… vir’ie wêreld is nie
NvR Is so
KB Mmm
MM En wat het ouma se ma en pa gedoen? Watse werk het hulle gedoen?
KB Hulle’t o’k maar so plaaswerke gedoen, my pa en ma, o’k maar so plaaswerke gedoen, o’s o’k maar so rondegeloop en ‘travel’
MM Mmm. Het ouma-hulle vee gehad?
KB O’s het het vee gehet, beeste, alles. Maar o’s moes alles net tot niet, alles, die dier kannie daar wees nie, hier ko’ o’s nie eens ‘n hoenderhok het nie…
NvR Mmm
KB Hie’ moet alles tot niet, in daar’ie jare wat ek grootgewore’et. Dit was nie lekker nie
MM Is hulle afgevat of…?
KB Hulle’t gevat, als gevat. Maar hier’s, hier sit ek darem nog vandag
NvR Mmm
KB Nie een grootmens het ek meer nie, nie een nie, al [indistinct] het afgesterwe. Dis nou net ek wat maar hie’ in die rondte is met die stout ken’erse, want die kinder maak p’oblemes, en jy oues moe’ daar in tree…
NvR Is so
KB … om daai saak reg te maak, ja. ‘is nie lekker nie, my kin’ers, dis nie lekker nie, rerig
NvR Is so, ma
KB Ek is, ek is hier so van laaste week af is ek weer so siek…
NvR Mmm
KB …maar, kyk my kop regop…
NvR Dis reg
KB … hy’s regop. Ek wil’ie daar in’ie kamer wees nie…
NVR Is so
KB …ek sê vir’ie kin’ers, “Ek wil hier sit, ek wil kyk wat aankom of wat verby gaan, ek wil o’k sien”
MM Mmm
NvR Sien
KB Ja. Maa’ ek is dankbaar vir die Here wat my so spaar…
NvR Is so
KB … daai ou kindjie hy pas my op, by die polies’ stasie weet hulle sy pas my op, by dokters is’it net sy wat… my so rond gaan, elke plek. Waar ek moet dokter toe gaan, as ek moet klieniek toe gaan, dis net sy
NvR Mmm
KB Maar ek is bly, want sy kyk my rerig mooi
NvR Is so, is so
KB Sy’s o’k nog maar baie jonk…
NvR Mmm
KB …maar, hy kyk my baie mooi, pas my mooi op, rerig, ek het nie klagte nie. As ek ‘ie lekker voel’ie, ‘an hol ‘y rond, ry-ding…
NvR Is so
KB …dan vat hy my dokter toe, dan bring hy my weer terug
NvR ‘is reg
KB Waa’ o’k, jy kry uit ‘n hon’erd kin’ers uit wat nie vi’ jou kyk’ie
MM Mmm
NvR Wat’ie kyk’ie, ‘is waar, ja
KB Stel ’ie belang, is meer aan die drank
NvR Mmm
KB Nou ek is dankbaar, hy drink’ie, ek o’k’ie
NvR Mmm
KB O’s steur’ie vi’ o’s aan so’ke goete nie
MM Mmm
KB Sien jy die ou kenne’tjies hie’ buite, hu’, ja hulle, hulle staan rond vi’ die wêreld se goete
NvR Mmm
KB Ek staan ‘ie rond vir wêreld se goed nie, ek is dan siek, as ek nou hier uitloop dan help hulle my dat ek o’k daar by die hek loop staan…
NvR By die hek loop staan
KB …ek loop staan daar by die hek en’ie wêreld staan en kyk, dan kom ek maar weer terug, dan kom lê ek. Dis nie lekker nie, om oud te wees nie. Julle’s nog jonk, oe, julle kan nog spring, ek kannie eers meer spring’ie, my kind
Ek kannie eers meer spring nie, maar ek beweeg want hoe moet ek maak? Ek is ‘n moeder in’ie huis
NvR Is so, ja
KB Ek is ‘n moeder, elke klagte wat kom, dit kom mos my toe…
NvR Mmm
KB …en ek moet diè klagte moet ek deel, as ek hom’ie kan deel’ie dan moet ek maar los
NvR Is so, is so
KB Ja, my kin’ers
MM Kan ouma vertel van toe ouma nou in’ie hok gesit is?
KB Oooeee…
Hoo. Dis’ie lekker om daar te sit’ie, my kin’ers, is’ie lekker man. Uh, jy moe’ die woord, die wet wil doen wat die, die grootmense sê
NvR Uh
KB Sit o’k maar in daai hoek, en daar in daai hoek gesit gesit, hier die derde vierde week word ek uitgehaal, word ek toe gemaak, en ek is af rivier toe, word ek gevat. Ek kyk diè groot rivier, en ek moet nou hier, soos die water sò lê, moet ek hier sò sit, ek moet daarso sit laat die water kan óór my val
[klap hande] Dan, so sit ek nou daar maar ek is so in ‘n vrees, ek sê, “Nou as ek miskien dronk word en ek val nou hier in, wat maak julle dan nou?”
NvR Nou
KB Die ouma sê, en die man wat nou vir my het, hy vat my, hy sit my hie’ by die wal neer, nou my voete moet so half in die water wees, nou ek sit maar. Ek sê hy slaat die water [claps hands] hulle praat hulle se taal, ek mos nou nie hulle se taal nie…
NvR Uh, uh
KB … maar dis vir jou tale, jong! En toe dit nou klaar is, toe word ek nou weer uit gevat na die, na die bal toe. Ek sê, “Waneer gaan o’s nou huistoe?” “O’s gààn nou huistoe, maar jy moet nog eers hier ‘n rukkie staan.” Dit was so wonderlik, ek sê jy sien ein’lik die, hoe kom die visse…
NvR Uh
KB … hie’e na die wal toe waar ek mos nou kom wees
NvR Wees
KB Hoe kom die visse, hoe kom die babe-… Ek sê, “Vat julle my weg, vat my weg want kyk die lelike goete wat nou hier uitkom!”
Nee, jy moet nou sit, draai’n draai, hak hy my nou in, verder, dàns hulle hier uit, ek sê die stof staan soos die mense dans!
NvR Dans
KB Mmm. Hoe spring jy an’ers nie, èk moet die mense, ek moet die, uh, voor my kyk maar ek kyk die mense, ek moet voor my kyk maar ek kyk die mense wat so spring
Oooo, die was lekker. Bo by die huis gekom het, toe’s’it nou ‘n eet’ry, en ek moet aangetrek, ai toe sien ek tog sond…
NvR Sond
KB …toe sien ek tog sond wat die wêreld lìg buite, want jy mag’ie uitkom’ie.
NvR Kom’ie
KB Maar as my ma so, miskien loop water geskep het, ek sê dan spring ek uit…
NvR Uit
KB … [whispering] kyk ek ‘n bietjie kant toe, uh… As ek gewaar [klap hande] is ek weer hie’ in…
….is ek weer hier ìn die g’rdeintjie
Maar rerig, dit is lekker dae
NvR Dit was lekker gewees, ma
KB Lekker, dit was lekker, my kinders, rerig, lekker om so stil te wees, en om daar aleen te wees. Oe, toe’t hulle nou die rooiklip aan my smeer dat ek so bloedrooi is, oe-hoe! Ek sê, “Nou waneer was julle tog die goete af? Ek wil’ie die goete aan my hê nie.” Hy sê, “Nee, jy moet nou so loop, tot va’middag, dan kan jy nou bad, dan kan jy bad dan kan jy aantrek, dan kan jy maar rondloop.” “O”, hê! die middag, ek’t nie eens gewag vir die middag nie, toe sê ek, “Ek wil was”, mmm, bring o’k vir my die water toe was ‘k, vir my klaar gewas en toe trek ek vir my aan! Ei! Mooi bontrok, ek sê wat hulle sò gaan [waai hande]
Ve’der is ek nou uit, is ek buitekant, is ek vry, sê hulle, “Nou’s jy vry, nou’s jy groot”
NvR Jy’s nou groot
KB “Jy moe’ nou weet jy’s nou groot…”
NvR Ja
KB “… en jy moet vir jouself oppas…”
NvR Pas
KB “…as jy nie vir jou oppas nie…”
NvR Oppas nie
KB “…’is djou saak.”
NvR Eie saak
KB O, dit was lekker, rerig
NvR Dit was rerig lekker gewees
KB Mmm, dit was lekker, my kin’ers, rerig. Rerig. Om djonk te wees en jy pas jou op, ‘is lekker
NvR ‘is lekker, my ma, ‘is rerig, is waar
KB Ja, ja my kind, rerig…
NvR ‘is lekker
KB …’it was banja lekker gewees
NvR En wat ‘aar was, daar was pragtig gewees my, uh…
KB Oooeee… jinn…
NvR …meester, sy was baie pragtig gewees
KB Mmm
NvR En hy’n Ouma Toet, hulle ‘like’ nog hulle se krale dra
KB Mmm, ja
NvR Ja, jy sal hom sommer sien as jy daar inkom dat, jy sal hom sien, nee man die vrou is ‘n [on]afhanklike vrou van die anderse af
KB Mmm, ja. Nee, my kr-, my krale is hier binne…
NvR En haar-e ma-‘lle hou’lle ook so
KB …hulle’s in ‘n plêstiek sakkie, ek’t hulle gebêre, my krale is, kai [‘mooi’, ‘fraai’] vir kaings wat ek aansit
MM Is ‘it nog daai selfde krale van toe af?
KB Mmm-mmm
KB Uh-uh. Nee, ek ’et hulle vir daai ouma gegee…
MM Oukei
KB …ek wil hulle nie hê nie, hie’ klomp goete aan my nie
MM Watse krale was’it gewees?
KB ‘is die, hoe kan mens sê, weet jy hoe noem hulle daai… so prop-besigheid…
NvR Daai wat lyk soos ‘n prop, ja…
NvR …dit is’ie tand-, tandkrale…
NvR …en dan’s ‘aar die kriek-tand, so daai ge-‘mix’-de, hulle meng dit so
NvR Mmm
KB Ja. En da’ moet jy diè klomp goed aan jou nek dra
Lang oor-krabels moe’ jy dra… Oe, ek het tog gesê ek is nou tog klaar. Nou sê ek vir my keners…
NvR Uh
KB …die oudste een is Saka, hy’s o’k nou oorlede
NvR Oorlede
KB Mmm. Ek sê vir hom, “Saka, jy is mos nou grootmeisie gewor’e, jy moet in, ek moet jou bêre daar in’ie hoek laat jy kan, die me’se weet waarvendaan kom jy
NvR Jy
KB Mmm. Hy sê, “Mama, ek is’ie ‘n hoender, dis ‘n hoender wat daar sit.”
En so’t hulle my al [klap hande] gaan gesê [klap hande], ko’s nie een [klap hande] kon ek eens bêre nie
NvR Mmm, in sit’ie.
KB Niks!
NvR Is so
KB Rerig
NvR Dis’y, my ma
KB Ja. En so’t’lle groot geword laat hule nou so groot is
NvR Ai, jinne
KB Mmm, rerig
NvR Eerste een, dit was ‘n ‘sorry’-goed. Maar toe kan die goete mos nie uitkom nie, want toe’s’it nou ‘n verborgen-ding
NvR Jy moet ein’lik, dis ein’lik versigtig
MM Mmm
KB Mmm
NvR Ja, want die, die die…
NvR …die witmense wil’ie hê daai goete moet gedoen word by die riviere nie…
NvR …en die anderse…
MM Is dit so?
NvR Ja
NvR Hulle wil’ie, altyd hulle wat ons so ein’lik weggekeer…
MM Hoe?
NvR …dit is hoekom dat ons nie in die taal kom nie
KB Ja! Rerig
NvR O’s kon nie in daai taal kom’ie
KB Mmm. Nee wat
MM So het hulle as…
NvR Ja
MM …as mense dit wil doen?
NvR Ja, ja, daar was ‘n oproer gewees, as ‘chief’ nou kan dink, want ek het nou’ie dag gesê, vir laaste jaar toe gaan o’s mos nou Kimmerley toe, daar’s so laanngg geboute, hy’s sò, dan kom’y, dan kom’y dan, toe’s ‘it nou soos hulle nou vir o’s afgekeer het, nege-uur moe’ die wêreld stil is, uit die pad uit is, so’t hulle vir o’s daai geskiedenis gewys, al daai goeterse. Dis hoekom wat die, die, onse grootmense, maa’ toe kom sterwe hulle nou uit, die wat nou weet van die ding…
NvR …toe moet hulle nou uitsterwe, toe kan ons’ie voorvat’ie want daar’s nou niks’ie
KB Mmm
MM Mmm
KB Dis rerig, dis waar
NvR Ons het nou niks’ie
KB Niks, niks niks
NvR En kyk hoe die mense leef vandag, van dàài persoon wat in’ie hok loop, wat o’s loop vaskeer, hy moet èèt
NvR Nee, hy moet eet, hy moet sommer lekker eet
KB Nee, jy moet sommer lèkker eet, wan’ as hy daar uitkom moet hy koëlrond is…
NvR Dis m-, yes
KB … ek was ein’lik pìènk pienk
NvR Pienk
KB Ek het’ie ein’lik meer my vel gehet, toe’s ek pienk!
NvR Pienk
KB Spierrrrr wìt! As o’s sê rerig, “Ek is nou groot”, sê ek vir my ma, ek sê, “Ek is nou groot! Julle sit my nie weer in so h’n plek nie”
My ma sê, “O’s moet net die wet voldoen, want jou ouma het gesê o’s moet dit aan jou doen.”
NvR Doen
KB Mmm. En so het hulle rerig met my gemaak, rerig vir my mooi, het ek daar weer mooi uitgekom, en laat ek nou vandag is ek nou gróót, weet dare’ van elke ding weet ek nou waarvandaan kom ek
NvR Ai, jinne
KB Maar…O, met die mense om, om kin’ers aleen groot te maak…
NvR Is’ie maklik’ie, nee is’ie maklik’ie
KB Is’ie, is’ie, is’ie lekker nie
NvR Is’ie maklik’ie
KB Is’ie lekker nie
MM En het ouma enige van die taal geleer toe ouma klein was?
KB Nee, ek het nie ‘n tààl geleer nie
NvR Mmm
KB Ek het’ie eens ge-‘worry’ oor taal nie
NvR Mmm
KB ‘aai ou Grukutale wat hulle praat, ek, ek het nòòit [claps] geleer’ie, my kind. Ek het nooit sulke goete geleer’ie…
MM En ouma se…
KB … ek perbeer kamma, maar ek kom’ie reg nie
NvR Mmm
KB Ek praa’, dan sê’lle ek praat vertjeerd, as ek so sê dan sê hulle nee dis verkeerd
MM En, en ouma se ma-goed en pa-goed, het hulle gepraat?
KB Ja ja, ja hulle’t nou tale gepraat, hulle’t nou tale, hulle onder mekaar…
NvR Mekaar
MM Mmm
KB … as hulle by mekaar kom, groot mense. Daa’ v’r is’it vir my so sna’ks, dan sit en kyk ek hulle nèt so…
… wan’ dis sna’ks soos hulle praat
Ja, my ken’ers. Ja, nee
NvR O, jinne
KB Nou vandag se keners, ek roep hulle, elektriesjin kin’ers, ek sê, “Ons is vet-lampie kin’ers, ons ken… nie die aller’an’e goete wat julle ken nie, ons ken dit’ie.”
NvR Ken nie, ja
KB “Julle’s elektriesjin toe julle óp’ie vel val en bore, toe ken julle al die, als
NvR Alles
Want, uh, een blanke man het my die gesê, ‘chief’…
KB Mmm
NvR …wee’jy, toe sê hy vi’ my, “Vandag se dag is anders van doe’ ou jare af…”
KB Dis waar
NvR “…want daai kjend as hy gebore dat hy ken, hy ken sommer klaar wat gaa’t aan.”
NvR “Want, nou die dag toe sien ek die eenetjie, wys hy maar vir sy, vir sy ma, sy ma is swanger…”
NvR “…hy [ianudible] ‘an so, ‘Ken die wat my ma hier dra?’”
NvR “En ek steek bietjie half vas, ek vra, ‘Hê jong, maar hoe praat’ie kind nou?’”
KB Ja… nee die kind, die kind hy praat nie
NvR “Die kind wa’ mos nou, hy’s geleer, die ma sê vir hom, ‘Dis kind wat ek hierso dra.’”
NvR “Dis verby.”
NvR “Hy weet dis kind.”
MM Mmm
KB Ja. Hulle sê, vandag se grootmense sê die kind, die ken’ers…
…wat dra hy
NvR Yes
KB Al kan’ie kend sê, “Nou hoekom is jy so dik, my ma?” Dan sê hy’m wat dra hy
NvR Yes
KB En ons het’ie daai goed’ie
NvR Ons ken’ie daai goeters’ie
KB Ons ken’ie daai goet’ie
NvR O’s ken van’ie erreplein…
KB Mmm, ja
NvR …en van ‘n bobbedjaan, wat sy stert afgekap was…
NvR …sò ken o’s. Wat, dan verstaan ek nou nie hoekom praat my ouma so nie…
NvR … ek was ‘n bobbejaan, nou voel ek nou hier, ek sê, “Nee, ma, ouma, maar my… ek, my ster’ is dan nog dan heel”
NvR Hy sê, “Dis oukei…”
NvR “… daai stert was lank gewees, toe kap ek hom af.”
KB Ja, rerig. Ons ken rerig niks’ie
NvR Nou maar vandag, die kenerse maak my vandag bang, rerig, sowaar o’k
KB Nee, oooo…
NvR Ek, ek…
KB Die kleinste kind vertel jou sommer, een en el vertel hy jou…
NvR Jo, jo
KB … laa’ jy skrik, nou ja. Ons ken’ie sulke goed’ie
NvR Goed’ie
KB O’s ken’ie sulke goete nie
MM Het ouma enige stories om te vertel? Van ouma se jongtyd?
KB Hete, ek ‘et nou nie meer stories nie, ek is nou moeg gepraat
Ja, my kin’ers, ai julle
NvR Nee, dit was rerig goed gewees
KB Rerig, daai was ‘it. Daai jare was darem maar lekker, was rerig lééékker, ek meen toe’t ek groot gewor’e‘t, maar nou? Wêreld is nie lekker nie
NvR O, jinne, hy’s liewester gevaarlik
KB Hy’s gevaarlik, dis doodmaak, dis…
NvR Al die goeterse
KB …verkrag, al die lelike goete is nou
NvR Ai, die… Ooee….
KB Ons ken dit’ie, ons ken’ie sulke goete nie, rerig. Ons lyk ein’lik, ons was in ‘n veepos is ons groot gemaak, want o’s ken niks
NvR O’s het buitekant geslaap, meester
NvR Buitekant
NvR ‘p’ie vlak
KB Mmm
NvR Jy sien doe’ lê ‘n klompie, doe’ lê twee, doe’ lê een, doer lê… so’t o’s geslaap
NvR Maar nou vandag kan o’s’ie
KB Hmm-mmm, ons kannie
NvR Hie’ in’ie huis is
KB Al het jy o’k huis, jy lê buite
NvR Yes
KB Maar vandag kan jy nie, jy kannie buite lê nie. Jy lê so, dan as iets vi’ jou laat, laat skrìk, as jy kyk dan sien jy hier staan iemand bo-op jou
NvR Bo-op jou
KB Jy weet’ie wat soek hy nie, maar hy’s hier!
NvR Hy’s hier
KB Ja. En as hy daa iding soek by jou, hy wil hom hê!
NvR Hê
KB Òf hy maak jou dood. Ek sê nou gist’raand vi’die kinners, uh, want as sy [dogter] tjeila, dis al bietjie laat’rig, nou dan lê ons al maar hou die lig aan llat sy kan inkom…
NvR Kom
KB …nou dan los ons die deur oop, dan sê ek, ek kannie aan’ie slaap raak nie…
NvR Raak nie
KB …want, ek lê ‘n oop deur…
NvR Deur
KB …en die duiwel is so besig…
NvR Yes
KB …laat’y sal iemand stuur om ons te, dis net ons drie hie’ binne…
NvR Binnekant
KB … wat kan o’s maak, jou sister loop buite, dan as hy hier kom is ons al dood gemaak
NvR Dood gemaak
NvR Is so
KB Ek sê, as sy uit, in kom en hy kom sê naand, en hy gaan uit, boud die deur…
NvR Is so
KB …wan’ ek kannie slaap nie
NvR Is so
KB Want, ek gooi die kombers sò, ek is soos ‘n waaks-, waaksaam…
NvR Mmm
KB …as iets net kraak dan is ek maar wakker
NvR Wakker
KB Nou, ek kannie lekker rus nie
NvR Rus’ie
KB Smôrens as ek opstaan dan’s my liggaam so seer…
NvR Seer
KB …laat ek nie kan beweeg nie, want ek slaap nie
NvR Is so
KB Ek waak die deur…
NvR Is so
KB … wie kom in?
NvR Wie kom in
KB Nou, nou gist’raand, staan daai an’er enetjie op, gaan sien, daai ou sieklik’ een wat al die aanval kry…
NvR Is so
KB …maak hy die deur toe. Ek staan so oggend op, ek kom hier uit, ek gaan daar by die deur, maak ek oop die deur, dan loer ek maar net so, maak ek maar weer die deur toe, hier kom sy, ek sê, “Ek sit al so lank hier, jy stel’ie belang om vir my ‘n drinkgoed te bring, hoe dink jy wan’er moet ek drink?”
NvR Drink
KB Mmm. “Nee mama tog, ek was hier buitekant, ek het wat en wat…” Ek sê, “Daar’ie ‘wat en wat’, jy moet eers kyk is ek hier binnekant…”
NvR Is so
KB “Of is my neurkoker al dròòg…”
NvR Droog
KB “…daar binnekant in’ie kamer. Jy, jy kom kyk’ie eens is my neukoker droog’ie”
NvR Droog’ie
KB “Jy bly net daar by jou blome”
NvR Ja
KB “Sal daai blomme kan praat me’ jou?”
NvR Praat
KB “Èk praat, maar daai blomme kannie praat nie”
O, verder aan. Dan sê hulle ek praat te veel, ek sê, “Ek praat’ie veel’ie, stel net belang in my”
NvR Die korek
KB Ja. “Stel net belang dan sal èk niè so banja praat nie”
NvR Baie praat’ie. O jinne
KB O. My kin’ers, ‘is tog’ie lekker nie, om oud kom wor’e nie, O, heense, ‘is net genade
NvR I’s rerig net genade, ouma
KB Net genade, my kin’ers, ai
NvR Ai, jinne
KB Siestog, Julle kom uit die dorp uit, of waarvandaan kom julle?
NvR Ja ouma
MM Ek kom van’ie Universiteit van Kaapstad af
NvR Van’ie Kaapstad
KB O, jy kom uit die Kaap uit
NvR Mmm
KB O. Ek was nog banja djonk, was ek daar
NvR Nou, ek sê nou net vi’ die, vir meneer, my ou ligaam sê ok’ie meer ja nie ouma
KB Mmm?
NvR Dis stoot en stamp, dis baklei, dis, êêê… ‘is hardloop, ‘is bolspeel, dis kop en dis, êêê…
KB Êêê…
NvR Nou dan, ‘s’t swaar dragte op onse kop te houde uit die rivier uit gedra, doer van af
KB Ooee…
NvR Oe, mense. Net om te kan dat ons kan eet
KB Ja, nèt om te kan eet. Wee’ jy, die wind het my al ge- gevat met die waterblik op my kop laat ek sò vêr [hands on waist] staan in die rivier, maar hou vas die blik…
NvR Blik
KB …en toe’t ek nou sien die water is stil toe beweeg ek nou uit met die blik op’ie kop, en soos ek die bult daa’ ùìt, bo-op ‘ie bult kom, toe haal ek die blik af toe staan en kyk ek nou die rivier, ek sê, “Kom ek rerig uit hier’ie water uit wat sò besig is, die water is besig, hy’s droewig…
NvR Droewig
KB …uh, ek haal die, die blik àf, nou staan, staan en kyk ek nou die rivier, daa’ ander vroumens sê o’k vi’ my, “ Hóékom kyk jy die water? Sit op jou blik en gaan huistoe!”
NvR Uh
KB “Jy’s netnou is jy totaal weg!”
NvR Weg
KB Ek sê, “Waa’n’toe?” Hy s-, hy sê “Maak net wat ek vir jou sê. Loop!”
NvR Loop
KB Verder vat ek maar die blik, ek he’d’t op’ie kop, ek is huistoe, by die huis gekom, ek loop vertel vir my grootma, ek sê, “Kyk! Ek was sò vêr in die rivier soos die wind my gevat’et…”
NvR Vat’et
KB “…maar, toe’t ek lòs kom daar, toe stap ek sommer uit!”
NvR Uit
KB “In die bult uit. En laat ek nou hier sit. Ek gaan’ie wéér rivier toe nie.”
NvR Rivier to nie
KB “Ek loop skep nie wéér water, nie weer, nie weer loop skep ek water nie. Ja. As julle nie kan, uh, die donkiekar huur en die twee Rande betaal vir water nie, ek gaan’ie wéér water toe nie.”
NvR Toe nie
KB En so het ek rerig nie weer [klap hande] rivier toe [klap hande] gegaan nie [klap hande]
NvR Gegaan nie
KB Toe sê hulle, “Nee, dan moet o’s jou weghou van die rivier af, want miskien is daar iets wa’ jou…”
NvR Wa’ jy…
KB “…wat vir jou wil hê.”
NvR Ja, ja
KB Toe vra ek, “Nou watse ding is dit?” Hy sê, “Luister net wat ek jou sê.”
NvR Jou sê
KB “Hy’s wil, hulle, daai iemand is nodig, hy wil jou nodig hê daar by hòm.”
NvR Daar by hom
KB En so’t ek nòòìt weer, nooit nooit, nooit rivier toe weer gegaan nie
NvR Nou sien ma
KB Ja. Ooo, my mense
NvR Nee, hulle maak, nou sê hulle maak nou, daar is nie so ding soos waterslang nie
NvR Hulle, hulle, hulle deel dit nog altyd uit
KB Ja, nog vandàg nog
NvR Nog vandàg nog
KB Ja, hulle sê daar is nie so h’n ding nie
NvR Maar as hy [d.w.s. die waterslang] jou lief het, meneer, hy sal alles doen
KB Mmm, oe…
NvR Dan sal jy somme’ sien daa’s ‘n lig…
NvR …daa’s ‘n spiel daar wat lê net vir jou wys, net na jou toe, soos wat daar is…
KB Hy maak ‘orlosiese…
NvR Yes
KB …arm’orlosiese, nou ja, jy wìl mos nou daai ding hê…
KB …jy wìl hom hê, ek sê jy’s daar, jy wil ‘om hê
NvR Ja
KB Neeee wat. Jy’s net aan daai ding vat dan’s jy saam weg, is jy daar by sy plek
O, my mense, ja. So’t my ouers my gesê, ‘is gesê, “Nee wat, as hy jou wil hê…”
NvR As hy jou wil hê
KB “…maak alle planne òm vir jou te kry, òm vir jou te kry, àlle plànne.”
MM Het ouma hom al gesien?
KB Nóóít so iets gesien nie, my kind, sien maar net daai mooi goete wat so op’ie water sit, ‘orlosiese, krále…
NvR Al’ie snaakse goeterse maak hy
KB …krále, alles maak hy wat mooi is. Nou ja, wat is jy? Jy wìl daai ding loop sien
NvR Jy wil hom sien, ja, dis e’n’lik wat daar gebeur’et
KB Ja, ja, op daai manier kry hy jou in’ie han’e, kry hy jou in’e han’e
NvR Hy maak al’ie soorte goete met’om saam
KB Ja, al daai
NvR Dàn is hy ‘n perd, dan is hy…as jy hom so, as hy uitkom, somster, so teen’ie rivier vlieë…
NvR …dan lyk hy soos ‘n, hy’s, hy’s só, dan as jy hom sò kyk dan sien jy maar rerig dis mos nou ma’ ‘n mooi meisiekind diè
NvR Dàn is hy sommer ‘n donkie
KB Mmm
NvR Dàn is hy weer ‘n bees, dan kyk kyk, hy verander ‘om…
NvR …om vir jòù nader te kry
KB Om vir jou nader te kry
NvR Dis wat’y e’ntlik maak
NvR Maar hy bestaan, en hy’t elke jààr, meester, op, by die, by die twee riviere…
NvR …as daai reënde stor’, hy maak ‘n stòf en hy maak ‘n reën, dan klim hy op, jy’s e’n’li’ [eintlik] sien dat, kyk jy sie’, jy sien dis ‘n wolf wat so opgaan…
KB Uh… Ja
NvR …maar jy weet’ie wan’er kom’y t’rug’ie
NvR Dìt is hoekom wat ek vandag sê, ek verstaan, my ouers het my gewys, as ‘it daai dag is wat, as hy daai dag klim, dan wys hy vir o’s, sien jy daar gaa’t’y…
KB Mmm
NvR …’aar klim hy
MM Mmm
NvR En hy klim nét by die neus, by die twee riviere
KB Mmm
NvR Daarom loop sy water sò…
NvR …Vaalrivier is diè kant, en ‘ie Swartrivier [d.w.s. Oranjerivier] is hier’ie kant, hulle meng’ie, en as hy besig is, meneer, as daai, daai Swartrivier besig is en diè ene kom o’k, hy druk hom t’rug. Nee, hy druk hom t’rug
KB Rerig
NvR Dìt is hoekom wat ons vandag staan daar, en hier’ie ǀ’habasas [‘ingewyde jong vrou’] en diè goeterse, daarom weet ek daai ding bestààn
KB Hy bestààn
NvR Djy móét djou skoonmaak
KB Maar, maar die mèns [claps] wil dit’ie dòèn [claps] vandag nie [claps repeatedly]
NvR Hy kannie. Ma-goed het, ouma-goed het nou drie weke [in die hok] gesit…
KB Mmm
NvR …tot vier, ‘n ma’nd…
NvR …sit hulle
KB Da’m as jy skraal is…
NvR Ja, ja
KB …dan moet jy ‘n mà’nd sit, ma’nd om vet te word, as jy daar uitkom moet jy sò lyk [claps]
NvR My dogter, ek wil net vir meneer gewys het hoe lyk daai een dogter van my, toe’t ek hom vir drie weke ingesit, en toe’s daai kind van my pràgtig
KB Siestog
NvR Toe’s sy pragtig
KB Ja. Oe, mens, ‘is mooi
NvR Nou kry hy nou die man wat hy nou daar het wat hom so gemaak het
KB Aaai, tog
NvR Daai ding besta’n, meneer
KB Ja, hy bestaan
NvR Waterslang, hy bestaan
KB Hy bestaan
MM Mmm
KB Hy bestaan rerig
NvR Nou almal kannie rivier toe gaan nie. Nee nee, almal kanie rivier toe gaan nie, dis nie elke een wat sommer rivier toe gaan nie, ma [KB] kan nou rivier toe gaan, wat hy gaan maak, wat hy sal, hy nou leer, hy druk net daai klip deur sy blaaie…
KB Mmm, mmm
NvR …dan skiet hy hom in. Nee! Dit gaan nou. ‘aai man is bewus van hom…
NvR …maar, as daai meisiekind nou hier afgaan, sommer net so, nee ma, nee. Daai rivier is nou [inaudible]
KB Jou kind meisie wor’e, sy meisie word hier in die huis en die rivier is so vêr, gaan maar net hier by die kraan en maak hom daar reg…
NvR Mmm
KB …smèèr hom sy, sy voete, smeer hom sy voorkop, smeer tussen sy blaaie… Dan kan hy maar inkom. Ja, dis ‘n mòèt, dis ‘n moet, jy moet…
NvR Die wet
KB …die water, en as hy dorp toe gaan dan moet jy die klip hier klaar by die huis vat, laat hy…
NvR Sowaar o’k
KB …in, in elke blad, moet hy gaan, dan moet hy hom hier’ie kant [links] afgooi, moet hy hom hier’ie kant [regs] afgooi, dan kan hy maar gaan. Maar dat hy dìt nie doen [claps] nie, daai dwarrelwindjies…

…staan so op daai brug, daar loop hy so, daai dwarrelwind…

…bly saam met hom toet laat hy ìn’ie dorp en t’rug kom, daai dwarrelwindjie bly so saam met hom. As hy hier, as hy sê, “Ma, hier’s ‘n wind wat met my saam loop”, dan moet jy nou opstaan en jou onderrok vat en uit, uittrek en hom omkeer aantrek, dan moet jy diè kjend na die kraan toe vat want jy kannie by die rivier uitkom’ie, dan moet jy hom règmaak by daai, by daai kraan, vir hom papnat maak en ’om smèèr, as jy hom klaar gesmeer het dan kan hy in’ie huis inkom
NvR Kom
KB Òf’ie so nie, nee hy kóm vát hom…
NvR Hy kom vat hom
KB …nee, hy kom vat hom. Hy roep hom so’s mèns, so’s mens sal mens roep, sê my ma, “Hy ròèp jou”.
NvR En ons het al agter sò iemand gebegrawe
NvR Ons het al rerig so iemand gebegrawe. Kyk waar bly daai meisiekind…
KB Mmm
NvR …uh, daai Pieterse meisiekind…
KB Mmm-mmm-mmm
NvR …hy’t daarvan af gevat tot bìnne in my huis in…
KB Mmm
NvR …toe hulle my dogter kom vat toe voel hy, toe sê hy “Nee, oraait, jy wil’ie saam met my loop’ie”, toe gáán hy
KB Mmm
NvR Nee! Meneer… hê… Hy’s net àf, toe’s hy, nou hìèr lê daai kind, toe’t hy sy rug gebreek. Hy’s gebegrawe, daai kind, hy’s gebegrawe
KB Mmm
NvR Daarom jy moet hom reg doen, sy bene, die skaap wat jy slag, hy word’ie geslag soos’ie ander skape nie
KB Mmm
NvR Nee, daar’s ‘n gedeelte…
NvR …hy sê syne’s net so heel hier…
NvR …voorparte, hier’ie-se is heel
KB Mmm
NvR En, sy ysbeen…
KB Mmm
NvR …hy word’ie oopgemaak’ie, jy haal net daai poot, die boude uit…
NvR …en dan’s haal jy hom van die kruis af…
NvR …dan kook jy hom net so
KB Ja, dna sny jy hom net so af
NvR Ja, so maak jy
KB Mmm, ja. En dan dáái môre dan moet jy saam met daai ding…
NvR Yes
KB …afgaan rivier toe, dan moet jy hom sò loop afgooi, laat hy afgaan, ‘is nou die betaling…
NvR Mmm
KB …wat jy vir’om loop tjee, toe sien ek dàài môre visse, baberse se koppe staan net so…
…ek sê, “Vat my weg! Kyk’ie hier’ie lelike goete”, toe sê hulle, “Nee, sit, sit, jy sal sien hulle sal nou by djou kom en hulle sal by djou kom verbygaan”
NvR Gaan
KB Toe sit ek maar, laat hulle rerig kom gaa’t hier ver-, hier verby, hier verby, weg is hulle…
NvR Mm!
KB …toe word ek uit die water uitgevat, toe gaan ek huistoe, dat ek vandag hier’ie sit, my keners, ooooee! Hulle sê hulle’s’ie ‘n hoender nie
NvR Hoender’ie, hulle sê so
KB [claps] hulle’s nie ‘n hoender nie. Ja…
MM Daar’s hy, ouma
KB Dankie. Ja, my kin’ers
NvR [inaudible]
KB ‘is lekker om jonk te wees, maar net al: jy moet die wet voldoen
NvR Yes
KB Maar onse kenerses hulle doen nie sulke goed nie
NvR Ja, sulke goeters ‘ie
KB Hmm-mmm
NvR Hy sien’ie hok [inaudible]
KB Hy’s ‘ie hoen’er nie
Mmm, hy’s nie ‘n hoen’er nie
NvR Mmm, vader
MM Baie dankie ouma, vir’ie gesels
KB Dankie meneer
MM Baie dankbaar
KB Baie dankie